A BACUP primary school has been downgraded from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘requires improvement’ after watchdog Ofsted found teaching was ‘not always good’.

Four inspectors who visited St Mary’s RC Primary School last month highlighted the level of teaching, management by middle leaders, expectat-ions of pupils, and other issues, as weaknesses.

Sue Sharkey, lead inspector of the team, said in a report: “Teaching is not always good. Not enough opportunities are provided for pupils to develop their speaking and listening skills across the school.

“Pupils are not involved enough in improving their work through responding fully to teachers’ marking.

“The expectation of what pupils, especially the most able, can achieve in reading and mathematics is not always high enough. Pupils do not have enough opportunities to develop their mathematical skills through real-life problems in other subjects.

“There are occasions when adults do not use accurate letter sounds when talking with pupils, particularly when they are teaching pupils how to read and write.

“Some subjects are not led and managed well enough by middle leaders.

“Not all governors are fully involved in holding the school to account for standards and the progress of different gr-oups of pupils.”

However, several strengths were also referred to in the report. Ms Sharkey said: “Chil- dren have a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

“They settle in well and the staff’s good focus on children’s speaking and listening skills speeds up their progress.

“Standards in writing across the school are improving rap-idly, with many pupils ach-ieving higher levels at the end of Year 6.

“Pupils are well supported through a wide range of ind-ividual and small group act-ivities.

“Together, the executive and acting headteachers, along with deputy headteacher, have created a supportive, welcom-ing community where pupils behave well and feel safe.”

Nobody at the school was available to comment.